Vice Media to Cut Hundreds of Jobs and Shut Down Its Website

The announcement by the new CEO

Vice Media Group, the digital media company that owns brands such as Vice, Refinery29, and i-D, is planning to lay off hundreds of employees and stop publishing content on its website, The announcement was made by the new CEO, Bruce Dixon, in a memo to the staff on Friday.

Dixon, who took over the role in December 2023, after the previous CEO, Hozefa Lokhandwala, resigned amid financial troubles, said that the company needs to “adapt and best align our strategies to be more competitive in the long run”. He said that the company will “fully transition to a studio model”, which means that it will focus on producing content for other platforms and partners, rather than its own website.

“As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on, instead putting more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly,” Dixon wrote in the memo.

Vice Media Group
Vice Media Group

The impact on the employees and the brands

The memo did not specify how many employees will be affected by the layoffs, but sources told the Hollywood Reporter that it could be “several hundred”. The memo also said that those impacted will be notified about the next steps early next week.

The memo also revealed that the company is in “advanced discussions” to sell Refinery29, the women-focused digital media outlet that it acquired in 2019 for $400 million. Dixon said that Refinery29 will continue to operate as a standalone business, creating “engaging, social first content”, until the sale is finalized.

The fate of the other brands under the Vice Media Group umbrella, such as i-D, Noisey, Munchies, and Vice News, is unclear. The memo did not mention any plans to shut down or sell these brands, but it also did not provide any reassurance about their future.

The reasons behind the decision

The decision to lay off hundreds of workers and stop publishing on its website comes as Vice Media Group faces a series of challenges and setbacks in the media industry. The company, which was once valued at $5.7 billion, has been struggling to generate revenue and profits, as it competes with other digital media outlets and platforms for advertising dollars and audience attention.

The company has also been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the production and distribution of its content, especially its documentaries and TV shows. The company has also faced allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and toxic work culture, which have tarnished its reputation and led to several lawsuits and settlements.

The company has tried to turn things around by cutting costs, raising funds, and diversifying its revenue streams. In 2020, the company laid off 155 employees, or 10% of its workforce, and closed its offices in the UK, India, and Australia. In 2021, the company secured a $250 million investment from Fortress Investment Group, which saved it from bankruptcy. The company also launched a subscription service, Vice+, and expanded its partnerships with streaming platforms, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon.

However, these efforts have not been enough to revive the company’s fortunes, and the new CEO has decided to take a more drastic approach to restructure the company and focus on its core strengths.

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